Past and PresentPort of Dover

MV Deft – Past and Present

IMO Number: 8316027

MV HT Scimitar

ex Shorne, Deft

Roy Thornton Collection

Deft – Roy Thornton Collection

Voith Water Tractor tug unit built in 1984 for Dover Harbour Board by McTay Marine Ltd, of Bromborough (Yard No. 52)

Technical Data

  • Original cost:¬†¬£1.5m
  • Length: 30.10m (overall), 27.67m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 9.22m (extreme), 9.01m (moulded)
  • Depth: 2.653m
  • Draught: 3.231m
  • Tonnage: 287 gross,¬†86 net,¬†115 deadweight
  • Engines: ¬†Two GEC Ruston 6 RKCM diesel engines, each developing 1400 bhp and driving size 26G11/165 Voith-Schneider propellers.
  • Power: 2674bhp/1967kW
  • Bollard pull: ahead 32 metric tonnes
    Bollard pull: astern N/A metric tonnes. Winch Fwd: K & L Marine towing winch fitted with 1 drum
    Deck equipment: K & L Marine Ltd towing winch fitted with 1 drum.¬†100m x 48mm HMPE Steelite + 3 x 20m x 48mm Steelite HMPE pennants. 8 x instantaneous handlines 2.1/2″ connections: 15 x 60′ hoses
  • Speed: 10 knots (service), 12 knots (max)
  • Bollard Pull: 29 tonnes
  • Call Sign:¬†GDRQ,¬†YYV5056
  • IMO Number: 8316027
  • Official Number: 702608
  • Port of Registry: Dover/UK 🇬🇧, London/UK 🇬🇧, Venezuela 🇻🇪
  • Sister Vessels: Dextrous (53)


Deft –

April 17th 1984: Launched by McTay Marine Ltd at Bromborough. The fender system was designed for the particular requirement of berthing the various types of cross-Channel ferry at Dover.

June 1984: Delivered to Dover Harbour Board at Dover.

October 12th 1984 (week of): Officially named in the tug haven at Dover western docks.

Deft – Dover Ferry Photos Archive

© Ken Larwood © Mike Sartin © Mike Sartin © Ted Ingham © Mike Jackson

Deft Р© Ted Ingham, Mike Jackson, Ken Larwood, Mike Sartin (as noted)

May 30th 2000: Sold to Howard Smith Towage Ltd at London, renamed SHORNE. 

Internet Source © Capt Jan Melchers

Shorne РInternet Source (Left) © Capt Jan Melchers (Right)

August 6th 2001: To Adsteam Towage

January 28th 2002: Transferred to Adsteam UK Gravesend at Gravesend. 

© John Jones © Robert J Smith

Shorne Р© John Jones (Left) © Robert J Smith (Right)

2006: Transferred to Humber Tugs Ltd., Hull, renamed HT SCIMITAR.

At MMS Ship Repairs, Hull had both propulsion units completely removed and overhauled with the rotary casings fully shot blasted prior to machining.

HT Scimitar – 🆕 Cave Calvert

2007: Registered Owner; Svitzer Towage Ltd, Hull. 

© Howard Pulling © Howard Pulling

HT Scimitar Р© Howard Pulling

© Patrick Hill © Patrick Hill

HT Scimitar Р© Patrick Hill

2008: Remains in service. Registered Manager; Svitzer Marine Ltd, Middlesbrough

June 2013:¬†“Both tugs have now been sold to Zulia Towing of Maracaibo, Venezuela & will cross the Atlantic aboard a heavy-lift ship.”

July 23rd 2013: At Avonmouth, loaded onto Heavy Lift Ship HHL VENICE. 

© Chris Jones © Chris Jones © Chris Jones © Chris Jones © Chris Jones © Chris Jones © Chris Jones

HHL Venice Р© Chris Jones (Channel Images)

July 25th 2013: Sailed to Venezuela.

August 2013: Transferred to Venezuela, under the auspices of Svitzer Americas. 

© Capt Ted © Capt Ted © Capt Ted

HT Scimitar Р© Capt Ted (Puerto Cabello, Venezuela)


All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions. We would like to thank: Dave Calvert, Patrick Hill, Ted Ingham, John Jones, Capt Jan Melchers, Howard Pulling, Mike Sartin, Robert J Smith, Capt Ted and John White for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks go to Chris Jones (Channel Images).

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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